Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | May 25, 2017

Fire Lookout Towers in Service

Curt Waite  Scott McClintock

Curt Waite and Scott McClintock are just two of the volunteers who are trained to ‘watch for smokes’ from the towers on Palomar.  I asked for photos to share with you of them in the tower.  What a view!  See their updates below.  Thanks to ALL volunteers!   Bonnie

From: Curt Waite

The Boucher and High Point Fire Lookout Towers are in service.  Visitors are welcome. Please see update below from Scott.


Curt Waite, Administrative Coordinator

Forest Fire Lookout Assn.- San Diego Chapter

FROM: Scott McClintock

A May 24th article in the San Diego Union titled “Dire County Fire Season Predicted”  has plenty of folks on their toes. It describes how 6 years of drought coupled with record winter rainfall to create worrisome wildfire conditions this summer and fall. We’ve seen the smallish smoke plumes all winter as Forest Service crews have been strategically burning fire breaks on some of Palomar’s ridgelines. And we’ve heard a lot about creating “defensible space” to protect our properties. It is also good to know that our band of 90 volunteers are on duty in the mountain’s two lookout towers quietly doing their best to spot young fires and give responders the advantage of an early attack.

The San Diego-Riverside Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association completed their annual classroom training in April and dedicated the month of May to training the dozen new “recruits” in the towers while simultaneously watching for smokes. This task is completed and the lookout veterans are now filling the schedules, peering through their binoculars virtually every day until Thanksgiving or after.

The Forest Service’s High Point Lookout, located on the northeast summit of the mountain is very remote and is off-limits to visitors. However, Boucher Hill Lookout is located in the State Park and welcomes visitors to drive up, talk to the volunteer lookout/docents, and get a tour of the charming and historic 1948 structure. While you’re there, be sure to thank our silent sentinels for their contributions toward minimizing large and destructive wildfires during this “…dire fire season.”

Scott McClintock

Chairman, FFLA-SDRC

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